Hardly anything there for you to see

P. Athras | Lebannin

POSTED: Fri Sep 13, 2019 6:50 pm

Pim had been clingier than usual of late and, feeling sorry for him, Percival had let the trusty old ox follow him away from Rhovanion towards the Lowlands. They kept an easy pace, happy in the company of one another despite the young man's goal. It felt like the old days, in those happier times after things had gotten a little better, when Pim had become one of his only constants. They had relied on one another then and both of them had been stronger for it.

But life in New Caledonia was an adjustment, and it seemed that the long-horned bovine was struggling just a little harder with that than Percy was.

Guiding the ox through the grasses that sprawled, virgin and green, through and around the gently rolling hills that he had come to call Lebannin, Percival sought out the section of river where he had situated the weir. Fish traps such as these had not been particularly common in Krokar, but they had been used on occasion and he remembered talk of their construct from his life growing up in a pack that had prided itself in its fishing prowess.

The idea itself was simple enough: using poles to create a funnel-like shape within the river and netting to keep the fish from swimming further, the current of the river would trap them between the thongs of poles upstream and the netting downstream and allow the trapper to collect their catch whenever time allowed. As far as Percival was concerned, it was fool-proof, and he had high expectations for the yield his construct would provide him.

Wooden poles poked above a gently meandering river and the bearded Parhelion spied them with relief, scratching Pim's cheek cheerily as he adjusted course and made a beeline toward it. With an almost giddy sense of anticipation, he hoped that the netting would be enough to carry the significant amount of fish he was certain to have caught. What a shame it would be, he thought as the smell of the river intensified, to have to let some go because he couldn't contain them all!

Letting Pim go to graze, Percival started hopefully toward the weir.

OOC: for Piscator! Check on some of the nets or the traps that you set earlier to see if anything has fallen for the bait!

[WC — 371]


New Caledonia
High Lord of Dawn
User avatar
Mandi
Luperci Diplomat III, Piscator II, Magister I we were infinite; there was no time in those days They stole my dirty socks... :(
timshel

POSTED: Wed Sep 25, 2019 3:52 pm

[504]

To every beginning an end, and every end a new beginning. The whisper of the wind sent a leaf into flight, an omen or herald: the first sign that summer’s death had come once more. Floating lazily on the breeze it at last came to settle before the hooves of a great beast. The dull grey of Hasufel’s hooves touched down upon the earth as his master bade him pause. A shadow, or a man bent before it to gather the first of fall’s casualties with reverence and reflection. He turned it about in agile fingers, tracing the veins of its pale golden shape, feeling its jagged edges. Vivid cyan eyes hued as sharply as gemstone closed pensively. Whispered words caressed the drying leathery flesh in soft solemn puffs of breath before the eyes again opened, stark in their russet mask. The shadow reached gently into the folds of his robe to place his treasure in an inside pocket where it would remain until the sun began to set and dusk was upon them once again.

At the border of the Enedwaith, its birches skeletal and parched with cracked bark like fissures in their wooden flesh the Lord leapt lightly upon his stallion’s back and together they rode into the valley of Lebennin. Scent trails those fading and recent spoke to him in many voices, and yet one in the same. Over months the stories of the past began to fade, origins of birth made less and less of a difference as the territory of New Caledonia marked them and made them one. And yet, those of the Shoal were singular in hobby and purpose. They tread here more often than most and as a result were fairly easy to track.

Athras thought of Willow and the conversation they’d held by the water not long past: of gods as old as Caledonia itself. It was difficult to stay away, not when she dwelled so near, and he had the intention of seeing her when something else gave him pause. A great bull in the distance, grazing and a young man striding purposefully towards the river. Lebennin was mostly flat, the valley bedded in lush green grasses and hills that rolled but gently. He could see the pair of them in sharp relief against the verdant earth and, curious, guided Hasufel at a steady pace towards them.

The closer he came the more knowing Athras’s smile. The wiry hair and bearded muzzle marked him as a Cormier, his frame rough-coated and hardy. Could this be Percival, the young man the King regarded so warmly? “Ah, another Cormier.” The Lord beamed, drawing in near enough he scarcely had to raise his voice. He dismounted smoothly, sliding down the stallion’s bare back to land softly in the grass. The half-shadow's smile was warm, welcoming, Athras Eryn was in a good mood, indeed. “Lovely day for it.” He bent to pluck a wildflower from the emerald grasses, seeing no harm in the gesture now that winter was on its way.

New Caledonia
The Lord-Regent
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Stormie
Luperci Priest I, Diplomat I, Rogue I Spring Spree 2020
you'll be mine

POSTED: Tue Oct 08, 2019 7:41 pm

Borne long ago from ingenuity and the creative stirrings of an imaginative mind, it wasn't so difficult to believe that fishing, with its myriad techniques and styles, could be considered something akin to an art form. Was the knotting of nets so terribly different from the stitching of cloth? How disparate, truly, was the carefully balanced strike of a spear at a fish beneath water from the one necessary to hit an opponent while sparring? What dissimilarities existed between the crafting of a fishing pole and that of a bow?

Few enough, so far as Percival was concerned, so as to make them trivial. The culture of Krokar flowed in strong currents within his blood and the beliefs of the riverfolk was imprinted permanently upon his soul. He was a fisherman, and though few seasons yet had left their mark, he was determined to master the art of his forbears.

Starting here.

Starting now.

Passing over the verdant meadow grasses in confident and meaningful steps, Percy tried to quell the growing excitement (and anticipatory pride) rising within his chest but the act was proving more difficult than usual. As a compromise to himself, the young Parhelion allowed a small smile to curl his lips and, though he knew it to be dangerous, even dared to imagine the praise he was sure to receive upon his return to the City Square with a full net near-bursting with fish.

The grasses beneath his paws softened the closer he got to the narrow tributary, the ground cool and spongy as he slipped past the reeds to where the wooden poles rose of the water like arms lifted in greeting. A gentle rent in the surface of the stream followed behind each of the poles, visibly defining the soft strength of the current. Percival paused at the water's edge and peered down, searching for the shimmering of scales between the weir and the net that would tell of his success.

He crouched, nutmeg eyes sweeping expectantly over the surface. But the longer he searched, the heavier his bushy brows grew. Before long, Percival was frowning and trying to recall how deep this little tributary was when he was pushing the poles into the silt. Not that deep. Not deep enough that his monumental catch should all be hiding deep beyond view. Still frowning, the bearded Parhelion slipped into the stream's depths and waded toward the weir.

The nearer Percy waded, the further (and quicker) his heart – along with any hopes and dreams of bounty and praise he had previously entertained – sank. With shock and horror, his eyes drifted past the wooden poles to where the net had been secured... and where he should still have been secured. Instead, waving uselessly in the gentle current of the little tributary, the net hung on by only one side of the weir, leaving the entire width of water free for any fish to swim safely on through.

Lifting a hand to his face, Percival closed his eyes and pinched the bridge of his nose between his fingers and thumb, taking solace in the fact that he was the only one witness to this greatest of failures.

"Ah, another Cormier."

Snapping open his eyes and drawing the hand from his face, the young man turned to find his luck sour even more. "Oh," he uttered. You've gotta be kidding me. "Lord-Regent." A slow wag of his tail and a pinched smile aided his greeting. What've I done to deserve this? "Uh, yeah... I'm Percival Parhelion." He tried out a small chuckle but it came out dry and flat. "It sure is."

Percival tried to sound cheery and cleared his throat awkwardly, watching as the Lord selected a sacrifice from the field and lifted it up. Hopelessly, he found himself wishing that fishing, in this singular moment, could be so easy. "I, uh..." He glanced back at his failed first attempt at a fishing weir and brushed his nose with the flesh of his thumb. "Was just... Well, do you know much 'bout fishin'?" he asked, deciding to take an educative approach to his failure.

[WC — 694]


New Caledonia
High Lord of Dawn
User avatar
Mandi
Luperci Diplomat III, Piscator II, Magister I we were infinite; there was no time in those days They stole my dirty socks... :(
timshel

POSTED: Wed Oct 23, 2019 3:21 pm

[377]

Thumbing the flower between his fingers, Athras breathed in its soft fragrance. Clever fingers twisted and turned the firm stalk between them growing pensive at the thought of the season’s turn. Soon the wildflowers would droop, wilting and wistful. Their petals would fall to the ground, drained of life and color until they became one with the soil. The grasses verdant now would cease to grow. Their stalks would bend, their color leached by the bitter winter that with the fall of leaves would soon come to call. And in turn, the deer that graze upon their tender shoots would thin and slow so the predators of New Caledonia could grow hale and hearty on their flesh. What a time to be alive!

The young Cormier hardly shared his lord’s enthusiasm for when he turned it was sullen-backed and somber, the frail smile upon his bearded muzzle doing little to light his eyes in their spectacled mask. The chuckle that followed fell lifeless and stale, and Athras wondered at the effort, did he think himself convincing? “Why, Percival,” The lord chided, though the twinkle in his eye was merry, and the wood-dark gravitas of his voice a mild thing. “Are you not happy to see me?”

The young man cleared his throat and curiously the lord’s gaze followed the path of his nutmeg eyes, seeing the poles for no more than they appeared until the man’s fidgeting made plain the subtle strain in his thick brows. And when asked...

Athras’s head tilted back with a bright peal of laughter, while not cruel in intention it was a startling thing. Sobering with a sigh his cyan eyes studied the wolfdog to find no trace of shared mirth. “Oh.” He exhaled. “You were serious?” The smile remained, a bright clash of teeth against his darker pelt and he elaborated without prodding. “No,” a shake of his head tumbled a few strands of his dark silk hair down a slight shoulder and his brilliant smile gave no apology. “Not at all.” He affirmed, but grew curious the more he gave thought to the young man’s demeanor and the unfamiliar construction standing amid the flow of a gentle current. “Were you attending something?” A tip of his head indicated the weir.

New Caledonia
The Lord-Regent
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Stormie
Luperci Priest I, Diplomat I, Rogue I Spring Spree 2020
you'll be mine

POSTED: Sun Nov 10, 2019 7:41 pm

Percival's floppy ears drooped lower and he glanced self-consciously away. "No— No! I mean, yes. Yes, of course I'm happy to... to see you." He cleared his throat and, again ran his fingers along his beard. "You just... I was just startled. I thought it was just Pim and me out here." Looking up again, Percival gestured to the brindled ox that grazed nearby.

There was little chance he'd be getting out of this situation without the truth of his failure coming to light so, with a sigh, Percy changed tactics. But the laughter that cracked apart Athras' lips and split the air around them mirthfully was definitely not the reaction the young Parhelion was expecting. Bewildered, all he could do was stare back at the Lord-Regent with his dark brows quirked quizzically.

"Uh..." he uttered softly. "Yes? As a matter of..." But the shake of his head and offered dialogue slowly quieted Percival's words. He watched as the man's long, dark tresses cascaded down a shoulder and tried not to think ill of the Lord-Regent when his bright smile offered no acknowledgement of any wrongs. The way he finally answered Percy question sounded almost barbed to the proud wolfdog, as though he had been a fool to ask.

Breathing deeply in, Percival remembered Keabetswe's lessons and nodded. "Yeah," he confirmed. "It's a fishin' trap. Only problem is, well..." Again, he cleared his throat. "I have some adjustments t' make." It was bad enough seeing that he hadn't caught anything. He didn't want to admit it aloud, too. "It seems that one of the knots keepin' the net in place loosened, and... Well, if you don't got a secure net, there's nothing to trap th' fish."

He would have to do more to show his devotion to the River Goddess, and to Nín, next time.

[WC — 320]


New Caledonia
High Lord of Dawn
User avatar
Mandi
Luperci Diplomat III, Piscator II, Magister I we were infinite; there was no time in those days They stole my dirty socks... :(
timshel

POSTED: Fri Dec 06, 2019 3:51 pm

[481]

It was fun watching the bearded man squirm. He watched him stammer, stuttering, as he grew more and more flustered with every word. It had Athras tilting his head ever so slightly and both his smile and the soft chuckle that followed were indulgent. Benevolent, as he believed himself to be, though in reality that was far from the truth. The Lord Eryn was a frivolous, fickle creature of shifting desires and fits of passion. A man of many moods and pursuits wrapped around a guarded brier heart that was as much a prison as it was a ball of muscled, bleeding flesh.

He laughed with mirth at the young Parhelion’s question, believing it to be a jest rather than a serious query. For whom would think the Lord Eryn— last living son of the high druids of Clan Taur— had any knowledge of nets and fishing, nor any knack for real labor at all. Of course he had his whittling, though most would refer to it as a hobby. The druids of Taur were accomplished at many such natural crafts and tasks, and so it was only reasonable that even Athras would have something of these skills. He, like many druids before him, could also identify plants and their uses, but as far as fishing was concerned, he was at a loss.

His attention was drawn to the unprofitable weir and he noticed the problem laid plain. “Ah,” sounded Athras, neither terribly disappointed nor overly concerned. There were many of the young man’s relations within Caledonia and through their efforts the realm was well supplied with fish and netting, ropes and other items of practicality. Oversupplied, as Athras thought, though he was reluctant to admit a diet rich in fish did wonders for his hair and coat. The same taste over and over again and so simply prepared did his tongue no favors and he was desperate for a change of menu. He looked briefly between Percival and the weir. “I imagine you should fix it.” He said with the same nonchalance and was soon disappointed when the water’s edge failed to produce his reflection. The current was gentle but the ripples wreaked havoc on his countenance when he sought it over the water’s edge.

He straightened and swept a long dark lock from his shoulder to cascade down his back, “do you mind if I watch?” Watch, not help was what he’d said and the difference was quite clear. He was already seeking a dry patch of earth to plant himself upon and did so as he did most things, gracefully, the fabric of his robe pooling around him like an inky stain. “We could talk about...Oh, I don’t know, your family, perhaps?” The smile was sharp should Percy turn to behold it. The Lord settled in comfortably, placing an elbow upon his knee. He leaned forward, expectantly.

New Caledonia
The Lord-Regent
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Stormie
Luperci Priest I, Diplomat I, Rogue I Spring Spree 2020
you'll be mine

POSTED: Tue Dec 31, 2019 10:04 pm

There was nothing in the Lord-Regent's apathetic response that suggested much of anything particularly negative, which eased Percival's burning shame, if only marginally. He still inwardly berated himself for not tying the net better, or checking it sooner to catch his mistake, but it was something of a relief not to have Athras' disappointment at his failure to contend with in addition to his own. The last thing he needed was an authority figure talking down to him for mistakes he was already aware and ashamed of.

In that brief moment that Athras' sea-green eyes looked between the weir and Percy, their gazes met and the bearded Parhelion considered his nonchalant suggestion with mixed feelings.

Because a great deal of him wanted to call it a day: to pack it up and try again tomorrow with a fresh mind and a better mood. But there was a portion of him that agreed with Athras: that he should fix the netting and give it another shot while there was still light in the day and success yet to be had.

"I..." He watched as the Lord-Regent tried to admire his reflection in the river's current. "I guess I should," he heard himself say, feeling better to have his inner conflict resolved. Percy gave his tail a small wag, a welling of gratitude for the man's suggestion in his heart.

Those feelings were quickly quashed with the next words that fell from Athras' mouth.

"You wanna watch?" he asked, perhaps a little too quickly; perhaps a little too incredulously. Percival cleared his throat quickly. "It's just... It's not very exciting," he added truthfully, but also out of hopes that that would sway the Lord-Regent's desire to stick around.

But it seemed that Athras had more cards up his sleeve than Percy could ever give him credit for and, with his smile sharp as a knife's edge, Lord Eryn settled in comfortably and offered a means to spice up an otherwise dull task. Managing to quell a displeased sigh, Percival waded through the stream to where the net wavered gently in the current and collected it in his hands. "Yeah, sure," he replied, trying to encourage his voice to sound less somber. "Was there somethin' you're curious about?"

[WC — 388]


New Caledonia
High Lord of Dawn
User avatar
Mandi
Luperci Diplomat III, Piscator II, Magister I we were infinite; there was no time in those days They stole my dirty socks... :(
timshel

POSTED: Fri Jan 03, 2020 9:56 pm

[457]

Athras should have cared more about the weir for the sustenance it could provide...in the proper hands. Perhaps he should have levied words of reprimand for the day’s catch that had been squandered by inexperienced hands. But Athras, son of Druids, a lordling of Taur had been fed by silver spoon from the day of his birth and given all his heart could desire. And yet, he’d always wanted more. By the time he’d come of age his head was full of fantasies of power and all its trappings. And then Lenan had been named the Druids’ heir, his hand had been sworn to Leena of Lorn, and the war began its course all in one fell swoop.

He knew hardship then, oh yes. Athras never mentioned it for whenever someone asked he diverted their attention with clever words, or— were he not careful— succumbed to terrible fits of coughing so harsh they wracked his body. He couldn’t say why this happened, or how. He wasn’t ill, and if he was how could it be only then? What a terrible coincidence that the event coincided with talk of war, his ashen home, and the people he’d lost. He chose not to speak of it for this very reason, nor did he dare let the past cross his mind beyond his golden youth.

Yes, Athras had known hardship, but he chose to forget. He had to forget, for he was alone in this world. And that was a terrible thing.

Percival’s warm eyes were not quite so certain, he seemed torn between-- what were they discussing exactly? The lord’s attention had drifted as he pulled the leather tie from his hair. Ah yes, the weir! He nodded vaguely at the Parhelion’s agreement.

The Lord’s velvet-coated ears captured the wolfdog’s incredulity and his teal gaze followed, abandoning their dreamy quality to sharpen questioningly. His smile lifted his lips slowly, like a great cat stretching its long deadly limbs. He settled himself comfortably and watched him wade into the water, the long-suffering look he bore one of many more Athras would observe as the days wore on. “A few things, yes.” He said pleasantly, lightly. He’d begun to weave his fingers through the great length of his hair, so long and dark it reached his mid-back. He decided first on a braid and his fingers traveled nimbly down one side, “why leave your parents?” Athras’s tone belied the solemnity of his ask. It was as light and playful as a frolicking spring breeze. “They could have come with you, and yet, they remained. Could you not convince them?”

His fingers were swift and he tied the end of the braid carefully, his eyes trained intently upon Percival’s turned back.

New Caledonia
The Lord-Regent
User avatar
Stormie
Luperci Priest I, Diplomat I, Rogue I Spring Spree 2020
you'll be mine

POSTED: Sat Jan 18, 2020 7:54 pm

The ends of the netting were sodden and that made the material difficult to manage. He worked at them, suffering silently as he wondered how, in the Goddess' name, they couldn't have held after water had fattened them. They must have come undone only shortly after he had finished the construction of the thing. He couldn't remember the strands being so difficult, but maybe they had been and he had just been wrong all along. Or maybe they weren't and Athras' silky presence was making him feel too much pressure, so his fingers didn't work like they should.

Maybe he should have done more to appease the river goddesses. Maybe he never should have gone fishing today at all.

With his fingers fumbling at the threads, he frowned at the weir while listening to Athras' response. A few things? Great. His jaw clenched and a muscle bulged. Silently, Percival waited, trying to get his knots tied (properly, this time) as quickly as he could manage.

But the Lord-Regent's first question, asked in a tone that suggested innocence and simplicity, gave Percy pause. He cleared his throat, subtly shaking away the anger he felt as he doubled down on his attempt to get the stupid net fixed.

The way that final question fell from the man's lips made Percy close his eyes and breathe in deeply, remembering Keabetswe's lessons.

"I... They..." He thought he was ready to reply but apparently he wasn't. Again, Percival cleared his throat and took in a cleansing breath. "They didn't 'remain' anywhere," he replied with a glance at Athras. "They went to Portland. Krokar had a trading outpost there called Old Ironsides that lots of us went to after... afterwards." His knots finally tied, Percival began to wade through the water and climbed onto dry ground again. He thought it would serve the Lord-Regent well if he shook off next to him, but Percy took the higher road and dried himself off a safe distance away.

"They missed Krokar," he explained more, his anger receding. "An' Old Ironsides was the next best thing. Lots of their friends an' family were there already." He shrugged. "So they that's where they wanted to be." Maybe he should have felt worse about that, but Percival was glad to be on his own, even if he did miss his mother now and then.

[WC — 405]


New Caledonia
High Lord of Dawn
User avatar
Mandi
Luperci Diplomat III, Piscator II, Magister I we were infinite; there was no time in those days They stole my dirty socks... :(
timshel

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